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What is the best way to cite non academic books in papers, for example, if we are writing a paper on economics, and want to say that "Charles Dickens presents a good portrayal of the English society in his book Oliver Twist",

Do we cite it as just another paper:

  • "Charles Dickens presents a good portrayal of the English society in his book [2]"

Is it enough just to mention it by name:

  • "Charles Dickens presents a good portrayal of the English society in his book Oliver Twist"

Do we do both?

  • "Charles Dickens presents a good portrayal of the English society in his book Oliver Twist[2]"

Third option looks nicer, but perhaps there is an unspoken standard.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The third route is the best option, because it does two things at once: it immediately tells the reader which book you're referring to, and the citation will provide information on the specific edition of the book you're working from.

If the book is well known, it doesn't hurt to make the reference explicit. If it isn't, then mentioning the title won't make a huge difference. And it's always a good idea to avoid stilted academic writing, so anything that allows you to avoid writing something like the first example is a good thing.

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If you are referring to the book as a whole, providing the title in the text of the article is generally enough. If you are citing a specific portion of the book, then you should report which edition of the book you are working with and cite the appropriate page numbers. –  Koldito Mar 8 at 7:44
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